I've heard boats getting dismasted while out at sea, but i never thought my first time seeing one would be while i was safely moored in a yacht club! This afternoon i was sitting in the cockpit having a beer and watching the cargo ships go by, when the periodic wake of a tug disturbs my quiet afternoon and i grab my beer to make sure it doesn't go flying. I see the other boats doing the wake dance bucking with the waves when i hear a loud ping noise, followed by another and then i see the mast on the boat in front of us collapsing with each additional passing wave!
As we're right by the channel for the Panama Canal, we are not allowed to drop our dinghy. I couldn't head over there, but i quickly got on the radio to inform the yacht club. Within a few minutes the club boats were over there. Luckily it looks like the owners were not on board.
I feel really sorry for these people. I can't imagine coming home to your boat to find this waiting for you. I guess in some ways it's better that it happened here rather than out and sea though!